Watch out for this new WhatsApp shopping scam

Messages look like they've been sent from an actual contact

Updated: 

Watch out for this new WhatsApp scam

Fraudsters are sending out fake Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Asda vouchers on WhatsApp, Action Fraud has warned.

Messages look like they've been sent from an actual contact, but the recipient name is fake and designed to trick you into clicking on the URL to claim the alleged voucher.

See also: New text message scam targets parents

See also: Seven signs you're being scammed

Two members of the Mirror Money team have been sent the same one, reading: "Hello, ASDA is giving away £250 Free Voucher to celebrate 68th anniversary, go here to get it ... Enjoy and thanks me later !."

But Action Fraud warns if you click on the URL you are taken to a fake website designed to trick you into handing over personal information.

Worse, once you click fraudsters can also collect personal information from your device by installing cookies on your phone that track you, or add browser extensions that can be used to show you advertisements.

4 dangerous WhatsApp scams you need to know about

The scam uses remarkably similar wording to a string of Facebook scams that offered people free flights and another for supermarket vouchers .

Earlier this year ActionFraud also warned that fraudsters were tricking WhatsApp users into downloading a fake version of "WhatsApp Gold" which infected Android devices with malware.

How to protect yourself

Action Fraud has the following tips for staying safe from WhatsApp scams:

  • Install security software on your device and keep it up to date.
  • Never click on unsolicited links in messages that you that receive, even if they appear to come from a trusted contact.
  • Follow WhatsApp's advice for staying safe whilst using the messaging service.

To report a fraud and cyber crime and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use its online fraud reporting tool.

Victims of scams and fraud

Victims of scams and fraud


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